It’s Not Funny WHEN It Happens

When my son, Erik was 8, he was still in diapers. We had tried everything to potty-train him. Seriously, if there was a method, we had tried it; but still, no success. Then, right in the middle of Church one day… it happened. A smell that could only be described as an evil spirit wafted down our isle. That’s right, you guessed it. The smell coming from Erik was… well, let’s just say we had the worst smelling pew known to man… and God. It may have been best described as a pew-poo. From 4 kids away, my wife Shelly contorted her nose, turned towards me and with watering eyes, quietly mouthed to me, “Oh, my Gosh, is that Erik?” After I quietly mouthed back to her that it sure WASN’T ME, she – without saying a word, and with just a look – helped me to understand that the time was NOW to take him out and change him. Continue reading

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MEN… It’s Time to Serve. And LOVE It.

Read at your own risk. This is personal and deep (for me) but I feel compelled. So, here you go.

Early on in my wife’s pregnancy with our twins, I had a horrifying thought.

Now, you should know that I have different types of good, bad and meaningless thoughts all the time. Usually, I simply try to put the bad ones out of my mind and usually, I simply forget. Then I assume it’s just a random thought.

When I DON’T forget, however, I typically start to pay more attention and address the thought and “do something about it.”

Maybe it’s just me, but I’d like to think there is a higher power communicating with me and moving me in different directions. I’d like to think. Continue reading

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It’s NOT What You Think. It’s What You THINK About What You Think.

Awhile back I had an experience that I shared that got me a lot of feedback – more specifically – many people wanted to know HOW I was able to stand my ground and not allow myself to be ostracized by those who were unaware Erik and Ricky were affected by autism. It can be hard when it seems like everyone is judging you without knowing what you’re dealing with. Continue reading

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Morale Man

A few weeks ago after my wife told me I wasn’t as friendly as I used to be, I decided to start something new and christened myself, “Morale Man.” You can mentally create a costume if you’d like – I know I did (just mentally) – but “Morale Man’s” results so far have been too miraculous not to share. Continue reading

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Constructive Kidicism

My 2 oldest boys, 17 and 19 are very smart. Obviously, most parents would SAY that. But those 2 suckers did something this weekend SO smart that they had me questioning myself. Here’s the most interesting thing. They were so “productive” in the way they approached their criticism of me that I didn’t know what they had done UNTIL I started looking in to how to fix myself.

First, let me tell you about the flaw in my character they exposed. Continue reading

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I Cry Alone

I’m a man. Which means I’m supposed to be the strong one, the one that is the rock, the one that others can turn to if they need “lifting up.” And I like to think I do a fairly good job of motivating and encouraging others when they need it. But I have a confession to make. Continue reading

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Wow… That HURT.

A few days ago Ricky (unknowingly) said something that dismayed me. He ran in to the kitchen and said, “Dad, I’m going have a kid, maybe name him Kyle Jr.” then he smiled, giggled and ran off. Obviously, this SHOULD have made me proud, but “the thought” that Ricky may never be capable of understanding marriage and/or having children disheartened me deeply and sent me – I’m a bit ashamed to say this – but it sent me right up to the edges of depression. I immediately went and read something and was able to feel MUCH better immediately. Continue reading

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Terrible Movie – Great Lesson

“You got a lot going on, kid. You are good and wonderful and special. Each day watching you grow was like a privilege. But somewhere along the line you changed. You stopped being you. You let people stick a finger in your face and tell you you’re no good. And when things got hard, you started looking for something to blame – like a big shadow. Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. Nobody is going to hit as hard as life. Continue reading

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High School

As I was discussing with Erik the fact that he will now go to High School, Ricky was listening. I went something like this: Dad: “You’re going to go to the same school with Zak (his brother) in High School.” Erik: “High School? With Zak? Other kids too?” Dad: “Yep, (grinning and teasingly) and there’s chicks too?”

Then Ricky piped in: “CHICKS? They have chickens in High School? I wanna go there too?”

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The Three Inning Rule

Have you ever just completely lost it with one of your children? They push the exact right buttons and send you over the edge? Yeah, I know, I have too. And then afterwards you realize what you’ve done and you feel SOOOO bad because you know you shouldn’t have yelled or overreacted or threatened to punish them for a year? I say “threatened” because you and I both know that it WON’T be a year, or even a month, or maybe even a week?

Am I the only one that has done that? Continue reading

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Old-School Discipline

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing – and I had to turn away so as not to laugh. Yesterday, Jack and Ricky were calling each other names outside and after a few warnings, Shelly pulled out the old “wash-your-mouth-out-with-soap” move. By the end of the day, BOTH had tasted the “PALMOLIVE.” 2 things to report: The name calling completely stopped… and no, they weren’t curse words – simply things like “poopy-head” and “buggar-lips” and “you-have-B.O.” Hurray for old-school discipline – the classics are alive and well in the Jetsel home.

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